Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Suicide King (part 3): Bartlett Pear and Blue Cheese Tart

Beth brings Baby Judith to see Carol as she scrubs out a makeshift mailbox bassinet. Beth confides that Judith would have died if Daryl had not raced out to find formula. She expresses anger that Daryl has left the Group for Merle.

Carol jumps to his defense and explains that Merle has a psychological hold on his younger brother. Regardless of Merle's shortcomings, Daryl lived his life by a code of conduct that he had to honor. That meant putting his family first. Despite her grief at losing him, Carol is determined that they will survive this latest blow.

Later, as Axel mourns the loss of Oscar, Carol tries her best to console him as she did Beth.

The introduction of the new group is the final setback. Rick is immediately suspicious of them and angry at Carl for leading them to the cellblock. Rick begins shouting and screaming at Tyreese. Glenn urges them to just leave as Hershel tries to calm Rick and determine what caused his outburst. The Group would have insisted that Rick rest and eat. Lack of sleep and nutrition could cause erratic behavior in anyone. 

The heartbroken Axel could not possibly have prepared dinner. Hershel, no doubt, took charge and pulled canned and packaged goods out of their pantry.

Bartlett Pear and Blue Cheese Tart is very simple to prepare. Jarred Roka Blue Cheese Spread is the perfect foil for canned Bartlett Pears and walnuts. And the shortbread crust is the ideal way to showcase the fruit and cheese filling.

And when the dead rise; if anyone in your group screams at the thin air…run…do not walk…to the nearest exit.

Bartlett Pear and Blue Cheese Tart

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix (Heart Smart if you can scavenge it)
1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbsp. Butter-flavored shortening (softened or melted)

For the Filling:
3 Tbsp. Butter-flavored shortening
2 Tbsp. Minced, Dried Onion
2 (14 oz) cans Bartlett Pear Halves, drained
1 (5 oz) jar Roka Blue Cheese Spread
1 bag shelled Walnuts, chopped*
1 Tbsp Dried Parsley Flakes

*If walnuts are stale; you may toast them lightly over medium heat or coals to restore their flavor. This really works; trust me.

For the Crust:
If you have a working oven; preheat to 400°F. Alternately, heat campfire coals until red hot and allow to burn until covered with white ash. Grease a pie tin or a 9-inch baking pan with shortening. In a large bowl, combine baking mix, water and shortening. Blend well until mixture comes together in a ball. 

Gently (grease fingers if necessary) pat the dough into the bottom and sides (about 1 inch up) of the pie tin or baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes in oven or 15 minutes (sealed well in foil) over campfire. Remove from oven/fire while you prepare the filling.

For the Filling:
In a small saucepan, melt the shortening. Add minced, dried onion and allow to simmer VERY briefly. The moisture in the shortening will also allow the onion to reconstitute slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.

Slice each pear half into fourths and layer the slices in concentric circles in the tart crust. Use all of the pears. Using a spoon, drizzle the onion mixture over the pears. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes. Alternately, seal well with foil and cook over campfire coals for 15 minutes, checking often so the tart crust does not burn.

Remove from oven/fire. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over tart and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven/fire again. Using a small spoon, drop teaspoonfuls of the Roka Blue Cheese Spread evenly over tart. Sprinkle with dried parsley flakes. 

Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

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